All inclusive: Never have 2 words caused so much consternation in the main tourist resorts of the Mediterranean. Ibiza, Tenerife, Mallorca, Benidorm, Costa Brava: All the big players are ‘suffering’. Some long established resorts have now become partial ghost towns as the once thriving areas have been deserted by tourists preferring to stay in their hotel drinking and eating for ‘free’.
As much as we all denounce the product the ‘problem’ is that the market decides and the families and groups have decided that they want to know exactly what they are paying for and they want their kids to be able to have snacks and ice creams at any time of the day without constantly having to put their hands in their pockets.
You won’t hear too many ‘expensive Ibiza’ quotes around some all inclusive hotels as Mum and Dad relax in a nice environment safe in the knowledge that 80% of their budget has been taken care of. Their is still business to be had as the the other 20% will be spent on boat trips, days out, car hire and beach activities.
The challenge for the Med resorts is to get their product and location right as All Inclusive isn’t just a flash in the pan and if Ibiza doesn’t offer it, somewhere else most certainly will. The new Sensatori resort in Cala Tarida is getting rave reviews as they follow the tried and tested long-haul model of beach location, outstanding entertainment, a wide choice of food and superb facilities especially for families. A great example of giving the public what they want but with a family of 4 costing over £5000 for a week in August it comes at a premium. The Seaview country club is also an Ibiza all inclusive staple offering family fun on the beach and recently added it’s own water park meaning lots of added value for Mum and Dad. These products aren’t cheap but as with most things in life; You get what you pay for.
Unfortunately these 2 resorts hotels are the exception rather than the rule on the White Isle with many others offering a lesser product in a lesser location for a lot less money whilst treating their clients with territorial passive aggression. They have the money up front so abuse that privilege by ‘giving away’ poor quality food and drink – what do Brits know about food anyway? If you do the maths then it’s a straight forward equation: Cheap all inclusive deals equals cheap food/beverage equals cheap tourism. This mindset is a lose/lose for the island as the ‘Trip Advisor’ reviews will reliably inform you.
Whether we like it or not ‘All Inclusive’ is now flourishing all over the world (especially in emerging resorts) and is definitely here to stay. My recent blogs have touched on ‘VIP’ and seasonal workers which arguably represent the higher and lower end of the market but if Ibiza wants to continue to attract the important middle market then it’s Ibiza that is going to have to change not the all inclusive model.